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NCJ Number: 51690 Find in a Library
Title: INDIGENOUS PERSONS AND THE LAW (FROM MAGISTRATES' COURT 1976 - WHAT PROGRESS? CANBERRA, (AUSTRALIA), 26-28 NOVEMBER, 1976, 1978, SEE NCJ-51685)
Author(s): H M CLARK
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: A HISTORY OF THE ATTITUDES OF EUROPEAN AUSTRALIANS TOWARD THE INDIGENOUS ABORIGINES IS SKETCHED.
Abstract: WHEN THE WHITE EUROPEAN FIRST CAME TO AUSTRALIA IN 1788, HE IS PORTRAYED AS BELIEVING THAT HE BROUGHT THE ABORIGINES TWO PRECIOUS GIFTS--THE GIFT OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE GIFT OF THE RULE OF LAW. THE ESSENTIAL EFFORT OF THE EUROPEANS WAS TO INTEGRATE THE ABORIGINES INTO ALL ASPECTS OF THEIR CULTURE. THE FAILURE OF THE ABORIGINES TO RESPOND TO THIS EFFORT AT ACCULTURATION IS INDICATED TO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED BY THE FORMULATION OF RATIONALIZATIONS IN THE EUROPEAN CULTURE TO EXPLAIN THIS REJECTION. MOST OF THE EXPLANATIONS WERE ROOTED IN THEOLOGICAL THEORIES THAT REGARDED ANY REJECTION OF A CHRISTIAN CULTURE AS A SIGN OF DEGRADATION AND INFERIORITY. BY THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY, IT IS BELIEVED THAT MOST EUROPEANS REGARDED THE TASK OF 'CIVILIZING' THE ABORIGINES AS HOPELESS, AND EFFORTS AT INTEGRATION GAVE WAY TO PATTERNS OF SEGREGATION AND EXPLOITATION OF ABORIGINES AND THEIR LAND. ETHICAL APPROACHES TO THE ABORIGINES ERODED IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY UNTIL OVERT DOMINATION AND EVEN ERADICATION WAS PRACTICED AGAINST THEM. THE 20TH CENTURY HAS SEEN A RESTRAINT OF THIS TREND AS A PARENS PATRIAE APPROACH WAS ADOPTED TOWARD THE ABORIGINES, MANIFESTED IN THE STRUCTURING OF RESERVATIONS TO PERMIT A PROTECTED AND, TO SOME DEGREE, SEPARATE CULTURAL IDENTITY. THE HOPE IS EXPRESSED THAT AUSTRALIAN EUROPEANS WILL INCREASINGLY ACCEPT AND SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF THE ABORIGINAL TO RETAIN AND PURSUE HIS OWN CULTURE. IN THE CONFERENCE MEMBERS' DISCUSSION FOLLOWING THIS PRESENTATION, SOME OF THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CURRENT STANCE TOWARD THE ABORIGINES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF LAW ARE REPORTED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Australia; Discrimination; Minorities
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51690

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